How to Clean a Dirty Porcelain Kitchen Sink

I just finished up six weeks of intensive home canning which turned my white porcelain enamel kitchen sink into a dirty, yellowed, scuffed up mess. Stains were part of the problem but also metallic scuff marks left by washing my kettles, trays, and prep tools in the sink. As much as I prefer using natural products such as baking soda to clean my kitchen sinks, this mess took something with a little more ‘oomph’. Here’s how I managed to clean my porcelain sink and bring it back to almost new.


To tackle this project, you will need a can of scouring powder, some household bleach, cleaning rags, scrubby, latex gloves, old work clothes, and an apron. Be sure to read the directions for use (and the caution label) on both the bleach and the scouring powder before beginning this project.


Fill up the sink with an inch of warm water. Use the scrubby and water to scrape off any bits of food that may be adhering to the walls. Let the water drain away.

Loosely sprinkle scouring powder over the base of the sink. Scrub at the metal burnish marks using a damp rag that has been dipped in a bit of the scouring powder. It will take a bit of elbow grease to remove the marks but they will come off with some vigorous scrubbing. Once the burnish marks are gone, use the rag to tackle the stains. When finished, rinse out the sink walls with clear water and let drain away.

If your porcelain sink is badly stained like mine was, scouring powder might not be strong enough to lift those ugly yellow stains. To clean tough stains, stopper the drain, turn on the water, and let the sink fill up to a depth of 2-3 inches. Depending on the size of your sink and the severity of the stain, add 1/2 – 1 cup of bleach directly to water. Dip one of your cleaning rags into the bleach water and careful wash the sides of the sink until the yellow stain is lifted. Once the sink color has been completely restored to white, lift the stopper and let the water drain away. Follow with a cool water rinse.

These three steps are all it takes to restore a dingy yellow sink to a gleaming white one. As with all cleaning products, be sure to read the labels and open up the kitchen windows for proper ventilation before beginning this cleaning task.

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